They spent most of their young lives in Chino Hills playing soccer, baseball and football, but wanted to find something more physically challenging.
Brothers Jonah and Isaiah Maningo, ages 13 and 9 respectively, stumbled across Parkour, a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training.
The point of Parkour is to put the person in a challenging environment and without equipment, jump, flip and do whatever it takes to move in the quickest and most efficient way possible.
Videos of people doing Parkour are popular on YouTube.
Their training in the past two years landed the brothers a spot on the television show “American Ninja Warriors Jr.,” shown Saturdays on NBC. The show has young competitors racing through a difficult obstacle course.
Isaiah, a fourth-grader at Glenmeade Elementary in Chino Hills, will appear on Season 2, Episode 6 on Saturday, March 28.
Jonah, a seventh-grader at Townsend Junior High in Chino Hills, will appear on Episode 13 on Saturday, May 16.
The boys became interested in Parkour in 2017, traveling to a gymnasium in Santa Ana twice a week for training.
They switched to a gym in San Dimas in March 2018 and began entering competitions in the western U.S. as members of Team Lab Rats.
Coaches Arnold Hernandez and Scott Wilson both competed on “American Ninja Warriors,” the adult version of the show, in 2019 and were asked if they had any students who could test the courses being built for the first “Junior” show.
After Isaiah and Jonah exceeded the tests, they were asked by the show’s producers to apply for Season 2 episodes. They were chosen in June 2019 for the 2020 episodes.
In 2018, Isaiah and Jonah each earned the title of “Obstacle Kings” for their age group from independent competitions on the west coast.
They advanced to the World Championships for the National Ninja League in 2019 in Connecticut with Isaiah earning second place in his age group.
This year’s event, in which both brothers earned qualifying spots, will be held next month in North Carolina.
The brothers document their training on Instagram at @firestorm1106 and @zaythesilentninja.